Rising. He was using all of his power to rise up into the sky. Missile in his arms, he kept on charging past the layer of clouds and into the realm of solid blue. It loomed above him but he had run through every other option and had realised that he had no other choice; people that he loved were in that city and if he had to give his life to save them, then so be it. Behind his stony exterior and false narcissism, he cared for his friends and if going through the wormhole would save them, then he wold fight to do so.
Now, his only plan was to attack.
Metal suit vibrating against his body, he diverted all of the power from his arc reactor to his repulsors. Ignoring the feeling of shrapnel tearing through his body, he forced himself up, closer to his final destination. He knew that it was a one way trip. He knew that he'd never see the city again. He knew that he'd never see Pepper or Rhodey again but he also knew it was a price worth paying. Looking down for what he was sure would be the last time, a feeling of regret washed over him. He could have done so much more, he could have been so much more but it was too late now. He only hoped that his legacy would be one of a hero, one of Iron Man, not of the man who he used to be.
He’d changed so much, he’d found a life and a family. For the first time in his life, he was truly happy but yet now his fate lay elsewhere. He almost wanted to laugh at how twisted his life was and how when he finally settled down, life had made other plans for him.
But it didn’t matter anymore; his end was looming closer.
"STARK! Don't do this! Please Tony don't-"Steve's desperate voice yelled through the speakers in his suit. The man who he'd looked up to in his childhood begged him not to give his life but still, he had no other options and they both knew it.
"I'm sorry Steve. I have to…" Tony replied, letting a warm trail of tears run down his cheeks. Cap understood, after all, he'd done the same thing seventy years ago. This was Tony not cutting the wire and instead, letting the world live at the cost of his own life. There was no way out, no other options left, the variables and the problem had forced him to act.
Taking a final breath, he looked back at his city, his tower and his friends with regret shining in his eyes before plummeting into the Wormholes grasp.
"TONY PLEASE DON'T-" his Captain yelled before the connection was lost in the darkness. Forcing his way through rippling layers of purple and black, a hollow feeling filled Tony's chest. He'd lost so much in his life time, too much by any stretch of the definition but now he was losing his entire world. For most of his life, he'd never really had anything to lose but now he had everything. The mesmerising trail of colours twisted and merged together to create a sight that no-one on earth would ever forget; a beacon of fear and war which he was now breaking through.
Using the full power of his mind, his weight and his suit of iron, what could have been seconds or hours later, he emerged on the other side. Breath hitched in his throat as every muscle in his body tensed; he was not prepared for this, nothing could prepare him for the sheer intensity of his surroundings. Space. Pure harsh space. Not the earth's orbit or the atmosphere but the cold heart of darkness. Astronomy was never his subject, it was Reeds, but it didn't take an expert to know that he didn't have long; if the radiation didn't kill him, then the lack of oxygen would.
He was in space.
With a nuclear missile.
How had his life come to this? Afghanistan. Yinsen. Arc reactor. Iron man. Coulson. Loki. Avengers. He just hoped that they would live up to their name and avenge him. There was no way that he could win, he may lose his life but it didn't matter anymore.
He could feel the missiles heat even inside of his suit, burning his flesh. But he had already accepted his fate. He didn't care anymore. He hoped that Yinsen would be proud of him as he hoped he had filled his promise not to waste his life. He had to throw the missile.
He was closer to the ship now, only a few hundred meters away. Pausing in the air, he used all of his remaining strength to throw the missile away from him. Ignoring the flashing warnings on his display, he tried to push himself away from the ship, using as much power as he could muster.
Twenty six seconds later: Silence.
There is no sound in space, it is a scientific fact. Space is a vacuum. There is no sound in space but yet Tony Stark could hear himself scream as he was flung backwards into the endless realm of emptiness. He was just a tin man, a toy soldier, looking for an out and begging for an end. Pain tore through his body as flames engulfed his vision. Lungs burning, eyes begging to close, he had to see that his mission was over. He couldn't let his sacrifice be in vain. He may have only been a man but this was him living up to the title of a hero.
He was the merchant of death, his weapons had killed so many but now he was repaying his debts and protecting those who he'd wronged and was giving his life to save the planet he had sworn to protect..
Guided by the cold hand of darkness, the flames swept over his metal shell. The burning. The pain of never ending burning overwhelmed his senses. He just hoped that he had done enough. He had let his mask slip and now was dying, alone in space, enveloped by remorse and a sense of finality.
Then, his eyes fell closed, not truly caring which side of the portal he was on.
He'd done his job, and that was all that mattered.